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Why Sing the Hymns?

Consider this statement on the disappearance of hymns from worship from Paul S. Jones:
The postmodern church, like the rest of Western culture, is self-obsessed and seems uninterested in the rich heritage of church music imparted to us from the saints of previous generations. Although worship has become a buzzword in all ecclesiastical circles, minimal attention is given to biblical teaching concerning worship. As a result, we find evangelicals slipping away from biblical worship and justifying their practices on the basis of the Zeitgeist. A hedonistic, narcissistic, relativistic, ‘me-focused’ age, though, is hardly one that should inform and define our approach to God. And yet, it does. We measure our success by numbers, our relevance by how technologically integrated and up-to-date we are, and our worship by how good it makes us feel. In the minds of contemporary saints, hymns clash with the spontaneity, simplicity, and style that have come to rule in the modern evangelical church.
Paul S. Jones, “Hymnody in a Post-Hymnody World,” in Give Praise to God: A Vision for Reforming Worship, edited by Philip Graham Ryken, Derek W. H. Thomas, and J. Ligon Duncan (Philllipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2003). The book is a collection of essays celebrating the life and legacy of the late James Montgomery Boice. Jones is music director and organist at Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church, where Boice was pastor for many years.¬† See the church’s excellent statement, Our Philosophy-Theology of Music, adoped just this year, as well as the congregation’s Mission Statement.